Arlington ISD Board of Trustees Adopts Resolution to Suspend High-Stakes Accountability Ratings
The Arlington ISD Board of Trustees adopted a resolution during Thursday night’s meeting that the Texas Education Agency’s high-stakes accountability ratings should be suspended for the 2020-21 school year to allow districts to focus on making up the gaps caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that closed schools in March.
The resolution cited, among other things, the state’s decision to close schools and the cancellation of STAAR testing this spring as reasons to suspend the system next year.
“It will be difficult to accurately calculate academic growth because we will not have any data from this spring to compare it to,” Arlington ISD Superintendent Dr. Marcelo Cavazos said. “We know these accountability ratings are just another piece of data we use to improve our efforts in the district. At this time though, our priority has more to do with our students getting back to learning and progressing. No test should take away from that.”
Cavazos goes on to say that the district still wants to measure student progress, but the high-stakes testing required to receive an accountability rating should be suspended for the coming school year so that students and teachers have the opportunity to close the learning gap.
Not taking the STAAR test last spring could also impact the Arlington ISD’s accountability score in areas like academic growth in elementary and junior high, missed opportunities to earn TSI points, lost CCMR points to canceled IB tests, and academic gain lost at the end of a school year.
Exceptions have been made in the past for instances like hurricanes that closed schools for extended periods.
“We’re still not sure what the 2020-21 school year will be like for our students,” said AISD Board of Trustees President Kecia Mays. “Our first priority is the health, well-being and safety of all of our students. Our focus is on getting our students back safely this fall before worrying about accountability scores.”
The Arlington ISD received an overall grade of 86 in the last accountability rating.